AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Take a trip to the grocery store and you may notice staple products are missing. For some people, that includes yeast - those little envelopes with the pellets that make bread rise.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
And that presents a problem to some who are taking up baking as a new quarantine hobby. So we've got solutions.
BRAD LEONE: The basics sourdough recipe would just be flour, water and open air.
CHANG: Brad Leone hosts a video series for Bon Appetit, and he says there's an easy fix to the run on yeast - make your own sourdough starter. All you need to do is put flour and water in a bowl on the counter.
KELLY: Every now and again, add a little more flour and more water. Let it ferment. And soon you will have your own living, breathing sourdough starter.
LEONE: Essentially, you're doing a controlled rot of a food that has a beneficial value to it.
KELLY: You never need to buy yeast again because the starter has natural yeast in it.
CHANG: Francis Lam, who hosts the public radio program The Splendid Table, has plans for the more adventurous baker.
FRANCIS LAM: A recipe for beer bread - that is literally just flour with baking powder, a little bit of salt and a can of beer.
KELLY: Yeah, the carbonation will give the flour a little lift.
LAM: And because you're making it with beer, even though there's no yeast in the bread, you get a yeasty flavor from the beer. So it might scratch that flavor edge, too.
CHANG: But if these sound a bit too advanced for you and you still just want to buy some yeast, try your local bakery.
BRETT BORG: We are selling yeast, flour and sugar for customers to come to use in their own kitchens; avoid the grocery stores and come to a bakery to pick up that thing.
KELLY: Brett Borg is the co-owner of Schmidt's Pastry Cottage in South Jordan, Utah. The bakery received a donation of 2,500 pounds of flour from a local mill.
BORG: So we decided to gift to everybody who walks through our doors two loaves of bread.
CHANG: They've given out more than 14,000 loaves of bread in the past couple of weeks. The point is to give back, Borg says, give a little lift to someone who needs it.
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